I bought my first Pomegranate of the season today at the Stop & Shop in Westborough, MA. I was thinking this time around, I’m going to keep count of exactly how many Pomegranates I consume this season much like the little quirky list my dad used to keep of squirrels he trapped in the backyard and then let go at the park. For posterity’s sake, if you will.
Pomegranate’s are my absolute favorite fruit. Seeing them in the produce section of the supermarket signifies the beginning of Autumn here in New England much like the first snowflake to some means the beginning of winter.
Selecting a pomegranate can be tricky and I usually cheat by sticking with the POM brand because their fruits have always tasted the best. They have fruits the size of softballs in early October and always taste much better than the stickered ‘California Pomegranates’. I’ve never bought a rotten POM fruit either.
When shopping for a perfect pomegranate, look for these attributes: thin, yet tough unbroken skin, a fruit that has a deep red color, heavy for its size and a crown that is free of mold.
There are many published techniques for getting at the tart seeds. One method is to cut the fruit in half and immerse the pomegranate in a bowl of deep water so the kernels effortlessly lift away from the inner membrane of the fruit. But where’s the fun in that?
I love the tediousness of this messy seasonal ritual. I get a big sturdy knife from the kitchen, place the fruit underneath an old kitchen towel and slice straight down halving the fruit-careful not to slice my fingers. The towel absorbs the sure squirt of red juice which stains just about everything it lands on. (You can always tell it’s pomegranate season because my cuticles are dyed red from the juice of the pomegranate
That slice is so very important because it’s my first glimpse inside the fruit. Brilliant red quadrants of seeds make the most perfect pomegranates to eat because I know the seeds will be just the right amount of tart and sweet.
I paid $2.48 for my first Pomegranate of the season today. It wasn’t a POM fruit, but rather just a plain old ‘California’ pomegranate. I should have waited. The seeds inside were a pale red and not fully ripened although the outside met the criteria mentioned above as a choice selection.
Once again, patience isn’t something I practice very well. One down-how many more to go?